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Ultimate Rewards Travel: How This Portal Can Save You Points AND Cash

The Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal is one of the most overlooked tools for saving on travel bookings. Ultimate Rewards points are one of the most valuable rewards currencies out there. Most people transfer their Ultimate Rewards points – earned from credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Ink Plus, and Freedom Unlimited –  to travel partners like United and Hyatt for high-value redemptions. The Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal can provide even better value.

I know what you’re thinking: Ultimate Rewards points are only worth 1.2 cents each when redeemed through Ultimate Rewards Travel. You can easily get 1.8 cents per point through United or Hyatt. Why would you do anything other than transfer them? A lot of times the paid rates offered through Ultimate Rewards Travel are lower than rates published on hotel and tour operator website and as a result, you not only have access to competitive paid rates but you can save points as well.

Chase Ultimate Rewards save points and cash

Saving on Hyatt Hotels With Ultimate Rewards Travel

I once booked a stay at the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos through Ultimate Rewards Travel. At the time, I needed to book five nights and only one was available on points. So I checked Ultimate Rewards Travel and found an amazing deal: $284.08 or 22,726 points per night, including taxes. As a comparison, booking the same room type through Hyatt would cost $540 pre-tax or 20,000 points. Considering the hotel didn’t offer award redemptions at the time, paying an extra 2,726 per night was still a good alternative to $540+ out of pocket. The $284.28 rate was half of the hotel’s own 50% off promo rate. Not to mention, the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos is an all-inclusive hotel!

If you’re considering transferring Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt Gold Passport for an award redemption, it’s absolutely worth checking the rates offered by Ultimate Rewards Travel first. You’ll most definitely save a great deal on Vegas hotel bookings. Those tend to be higher category Hyatt Gold Passport redemptions with low cash rates. For example, the Bellagio offers mid-week rates as low as $160 per night but requires 25,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points. Through Ultimate Rewards Travel, you can book the same room for less ($153.78 on May 9) or redeem as few as 12,302 points.

Ultimate Rewards Travel super low rates at the Bellagio Las Vegas through
Super low rates at the Bellagio Las Vegas through Ultimate Rewards Travel

By now some of you have “Best Rate Guarantee Claim” flashing before your eyes. Unfortunately, most hotels will not approve BRG claims when Ultimate Rewards Travel rates are cited, since those rates aren’t publicly available – just to people with a qualifying Chase credit card and login credentials.

Saving On Other Hotels With Ultimate Rewards Travel 

It’s not just the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos you can book cheaply through Ultimate Rewards Travel – I even found some good rates at the all-inclusive Hilton Los Cabos. The cheapest rate displayed on the Hilton website was $332 per night for a Deluxe Oceanview room in late March. The same room was selling for $244.06 or 19,525 Ultimate Rewards points per night.

50% off rates Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos
50% off promotion at Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos
Ultimate Rewards Travel Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos Cheap Rates
Incredible savings at the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos through Ultimate Rewards Travel

Keep in mind, the rates displayed on Ultimate Rewards Travel include taxes, while hotel websites usually display the pre-tax rates only. I found this to be the case with many other hotels in Mexico, like the Banyan Tree Cabo Marques in Acapulco – the rates were pretty much the same in this case, except the Ultimate Rewards rate included taxes while the hotel website did not.

The same goes for other Ultimate Rewards hotel partners: Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and IHG Rewards Club all have pretty inflated award charts. Who wants to transfer 70,000 Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott for a free night at the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong? I’m guessing very few people. On the other hand, you can redeem as few as 37,000 points per night at the same property through Ultimate Rewards Travel. Still steep, but nearly half the cost, and worth it, according to Howie, who has stayed there on points twice. 

Earning Points and Stay Credit With Ultimate Rewards Travel 

Whether you actually earn points or elite credit through a hotel rewards program depends on the hotel. Last summer I booked a night at the Conrad Bali through the Ultimate Rewards Travel Center and did in fact earn points and stay credit. I didn’t earn any Hyatt points or stay credits for my booking at the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos, which didn’t surprise me since the rate was so ridiculously low. I’ll gladly forego a few thousand Gold Passport points in exchange for a 50% saving.

Saving on Activities With Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel 

Another great way to Ultimate Rewards Travel is to book activities. In Singapore last year, I wanted to book one of those Hop-on-Hop-off bus tours, which cost around $25 per person. Through Ultimate Rewards Travel, I was quoted $101.45 for five people or 8,115 points points. I opted for the latter, considering how cheap and easy it is for me to earn those points. We got to see everything we wanted, transportation was taken care of, and it didn’t come out of my pocket.

Ultimate Rewards are very valuable when transferred to one of their many great travel partners. But you can get even more value by redeeming them through Ultimate Rewards Travel. These are just a few examples.

Have you made any valuable Ultimate Rewards Travel redemptions? Please share in the comment section.

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  1. I know with Amex points you can apply your points to any purchase, does chase ultimate rewards work the same way? If so, you could book the hotels via a cash back portal like and get your 7% cash back at the Bellagio and still use your points!

    • If you have a Chase checking account, you can redeem your points for cash at 1 cent each as a statement credit. It’s important to note that Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.25 cents towards travel and the rates at the UR Mall are often cheaper. Let’s say you’re booking the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos for $540 per night using the 7% cash back from Yazing. You get $37.80 back but you have to redeem over 50,000 points to get a statement credit. Meanwhile, the Ultimate Rewards portal might have rates as low as $284 which will require you to redeem just 22,726 points.

  2. hollyatclubthrifty

    I’m a big fan of the Holiday Inn Resort in Montego Bay and it is frequently “on sale” through Ultimate Rewards. While the property costs 35,000 IHG points, you can find it on Ultimate Rewards for 16K or 17K points per night. Definitely worth checking!

    I mostly use Chase Ultimate Rewards for transfers to Southwest, but I also book a lot of excursions there. For next week’s trip, we booked a luxury boat tour with two snorkeling stops for around 7,400 Ultimate Rewards points each.

    • That’s awesome! Most people just focus on Ultimate Rewards transfer options but there are definitely some great savings to be had with Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal bookings.

  3. Jeanette

    Thank you. As a rookie to this hobby I did not know these options were available so reasonably. I will definitely visit the Chase travel site.

  4. great info, I need to book something for NY in 2 weeks so will check out the options.

  5. Do they recognize your diamond status with Hilton if booked through ultimate rewards travel portal?

    • I think so. When I booked the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos, they still gave me my Platinum benefits. There was initially some confusion about it, but they determined that all third party bookings do in fact qualify for elite benefits. I also booked a night at the Conrad Bali through the Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal and received elite benefits for the entire stay.

    • Hyatt’s terms state that it will recognize status and provide benefits through 3rd party bookings (except earning points). Hilton is not as generous and typically does not. One thing to do is to call the Hilton that you booked 3rd party and ask them to add your HHonors number to the reservation. We have done that and received the free breakfast benefit.

      • Oddly enough, in my experience Hilton has been much more ok with this than Hyatt. A few years ago I booked a $20 mistake rate at Hilton SF through a third party site and after adding my number to the reservation, I got upgraded to a premium room with a view and all elite benefits (even club lounge access) were extended. The same goes for my Conrad Bali booking, while Hyatt reps initially 1.) didn’t want to add my name to the reservation because I wouldn’t be earning points and 2.) told me I wasn’t eligible for elite benefits at check-in, until a manager told them otherwise.

        • So the bottom line is, it is hit or miss and chances are majority of hotels do recognize the status as a courtesy but as per rules it is not a recognized benefit.

          • For me, status has always been recognized. It’s the point/elite status credit that’s been murky. In cases where you’re saving substantially on hotels, it makes absolute sense to forego the elite credit and points for 50% savings.

  6. Great post. I rarely even think about using this portal. I’ll have to keep this in mind next time I see a $150 hotel going for 25-30,000 points.

  7. Thanks for the post. I will add it to my toolbox in looking for a hotel booking.

  8. I booked my room at the D at FTU Vegas last weekend this way. About one week before the event rooms were only around $75 per night through UR booking site, yet showed at perhaps $125 publicly. (FTU prices were no longer valid.). I was pleased to not have to use up my URs and still get the cheaper rate. I thought to share the tip a couple days later but prices had risen at that point.

  9. Hi! you may have answered this already…but I’m one stay away from Hyatt Diamond/Globalist in 2017. I wanted to go to vegas for new years but the rooms are $$$, and was thinking of doing cash + UR points. Do you think it would count as my final stay? earlier this year i booked through lhrc and was granted a stay from MGM.


  10. UPDATE: Taxes and fees don’t seem to be included any longer via the Chase UR travel portal, including the Hyatt Los Cabos you screenshot above (and good luck finding out what they are before booking since you will need to speak directly to the hotels you are considering).

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